What’s New in 2018?

Hunting Regulations Icon California Hunting

New Law on Poaching California’s Trophy Class Wildlife

FGC 12013.3 increased the punishment for a conviction of poaching the trophy while taking out of season, spotlighting, baiting, waste of meat, or take without a tag. The fine for a poaching conviction related to trophy deer, elk, antelope, or bighorn sheep shall be not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), nor more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000), and if the conviction involved a wild turkey, a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or both that fine and imprisonment.

As defined in the CCR T14-748.6(a) the following are designated as trophies:

1. In deer hunting zones A, B1-B6, D10, D11, D13, D15, and D16, any deer with four or more points on either antler (excluding eye guards) or with an outside antler spread of at least sixteen inches. In all other deer hunting zones (all X zones, all C zones, and zones D3-D9, D12, D14, D17, and D19), any deer with four or more points on either antler (excluding eye guards) or with an outside antler spread of at least twenty-two inches;

2. Any elk with five or more points on either antler (including eye guards);

3. Any pronghorn antelope with a horn that is at least fourteen inches in length;

4. Any bighorn sheep ram defined as a male bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) having at least one horn, the tip of which extends beyond a straight line beginning at the front (anterior) edge of the horn base, and extending downward through the rear (posterior) edge of the visible portion of the eye and continuing downward through the horn. All reference points are based on viewing the ram directly from a 90-degree angle from which the head is facing.

5. Any wild turkey with either a spur that is at least one inch in length, or a beard (measured by the longest strand of one or more beards) that is eight or more inches.

Increasing CWD Surveillance Efforts

Hunters are a vital partner for CWD disease prevention and surveillance. Over the next few years CDFW will be increasing CWD surveillance efforts with voluntary CWD check stations throughout the state. For additional information on surveillance in CA visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Investigations/Monitoring/CWD or contact the Wildlife Investigations Laboratory at 916-358-2790 or WILab@wildlife.ca.gov.

Deer Tag Classification Changes

For the 2018 deer hunting season, the following deer tags have changed classifications. Please refer to the 2018 Deer Hunts for more information.

From Restricted to Premium deer tags:

  • A22 – tag quota filled on 6/15/17

From Unrestricted deer tags to Premium deer tags:

  • A18 – tag quota filled on 6/14/17
  • A19 – tag quota filled on 6/20/17

From Premium deer tag to Restricted deer tag:

  • D6 – tag quota filled on 7/5/17

From Unrestricted deer tags to Restricted deer tags:

  • B – tag quota filled on 7/17/17
  • D14 – tag quota filled on 7/13/17
  • A32 – tag quota filled on 7/17/17

Your Warden Stamp Dollars at Work

Your $5 Warden Stamp purchase helps protect California’s fish and wildlife resources.

CDFW’s Warden Stamp Program provides equipment and training for wildlife officers and funds the CDFW’s popular K-9 Program, which trains dogs to work side by side with wildlife officers in preventing and solving wildlife crimes.